By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
A New Hampshire man has been arrested and charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm and motor vehicle charges, and is being held pending a dangerousness hearing, while investigators from Essex County and two police departments try to determine if he is responsible for other horrific crimes in Lynn and North Andover on Monday night.
Brian Brito, 21, of Manchester, N.H. was arrested by Massachusetts State Police late Monday night, while driving a car that was being sought in connection with the fatal shooting in Lynn of a 24-year old delivery driver just before 6 p.m..
Sina Zangiband, a 24-year-old deliveryman for Atha’s Famous Roast Beef, was shot to death inside his car while pulled over in Lynn.
According to the Essex County District Attorney’s office, Zangiband was found dead in his vehicle, after a report of gunshots in the quiet neighborhood. Witnesses told police they saw the gunman leave the scene of the shooting in a grey Audi, with New Hampshire license plates.
Brito was pulled over by State Police in Peabody about four hours after the shooting, driving a car that fit the witness’ description, inside the car police found the unlicensed firearm.
A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Brito on the gun and motor vehicle charges and Judge Richard Mori ordered him held until April 10, pending a dangerousness hearing.
Lynn police have subsequently confirmed that Brito is a “person of interest” in the Lynn homicide.
Brito has also been linked to the description of a suspect wanted by North Andover police in connection with an armed robbery and sexual assault in that community less than an hour before he was pulled over.
According to a North Andover police statement, officers responding to a Richdale store were told by a female clerk that a man entered the store with his face concealed by a mask, and brandished a firearm. The man ordered the clerk at gunpoint to lock the doors, and took her to a back room where she was sexually assaulted. The gunman then emptied the cash drawer and stole lottery tickets before fleeing the scene.
North Andover police issued an arrest warrant for armed robbery while masked, aggravated rape and kidnapping. Brito is expected to be arraigned next week in Lawrence District Court on those charges.
Brito’s defense attorney Rebecca Whitehill could not be reached for comment on the charges or her client’s possible connection to the crimes in Lynn and North Andover.